It was a low key competitive weekend locally with the only North West venue, a new course in Carndonagh, hosting the Donegal Cross Country Championships.
However, Allan Bogle won the opening Sperrin Harriers Winter League Trail race in Davagh Forest near Cookstown on Saturday.
City of Derry man, Bogle had a comfortable win, his 36m 46s effort getting him home well clear of the host club’s Pierce McCullagh on 37m 17s and regular trail runner, Brian Young on 38m 01s.
The Spartan has been going well recently and is expected to feature more frequently over the country this winter following his third place finish at last month’s Springwell promotion in Coleraine.
Meanwhile the classy Gary Murray announced his return to competitive action with an impressive victory on a wet and miserable Sunday in Carndonagh. The St. Joseph’s PE teacher has been out with serious injury for around three years but looked very good indeed as he ran away from the field on a heavy, hilly and testing Carndonagh course. Running in St Malachy’s AC colours Murray finished well clear of last weeks Rostrevor winner, Letterkenny’s Ciaran Doherty and Christopher Johnston. Finn Valley took the six to score team title ahead of Letterkenny while in the Women’s race Teresa McGloin out-lasted Natasha Adams of Lifford to lead Finn Valley to both individual and team honours.
Over in Belguim on Sunday there were good runs from Anne Marie McGlynn and Darren McBrearty at the Lotto Cross Country meeting in Antwerp. Lifford star McGlynn was an excellent 7th behind Ireland’s supreme Fionnuala Britton who came home alone. McBrearty of Letterkenny AC was 22nd in a quality men’s race won by Kenyan Alex Kibet with David McCarthy, a man with North West connections finishing a very impressive fourth.